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Plum Tomato Time at Salerno's

“Come down and chew on a piece of history,” says restaurant's owner.

It’s late August, and that means it’s plum tomato pizza time again at Salerno’s.

The event has people flocking down to the old parlor for a taste of the famous pie.

“It’s the best season we’ve had,” owner Carl Salerno said on Sunday. “And every year we’ve sold more and more.”

In a July interview with Stratford Patch, it was estimated that three thousand of the pies would be sold in the three-week stretch of the event.

According to Salerno, the craze began about 12 years ago. It started while Salerno was buying produce from a farmer who offered a good deal on three crates of plum tomatoes. With 150 pounds of tomatoes to expend, Salerno started turning them into the small original pies that people cannot get enough of today.

As the story goes, Salerno remembered to do it the following year, and the year after that. Each year more and more pies were sold. Now, people begin calling in June and July to inquire about the plum tomatoes.

“This convinced me that the people in this area do know where the real pizza is,” Salerno said.

What makes the plum tomatoes irresistible, he said, is the fact that they are taken late in the season which means they are red, meaty and sweet. And Salerno only buys from local Connecticut farmers which means the pies are native.

Salerno said his pizza shop is the only place in the area where you can find plum tomato pizza.

For Trumbull resident Manfred Lobel and his family, the event has become a tradition.

“We look forward to it,” Lobel said, adding that they usually buy a couple of pies and share it at the table. The pizzas only come in one size, small.

“My wife enjoys it,” he added. “It’s a tradition to come here.”

Salerno’s, in Stratford since 1970, has been making pizza since 1947. The old-fashioned parlor offers food that is never frozen. Everything is cooked fresh.

“Come down and chew on a piece of history,” Salerno said.

The tomato extravaganza, which started on Aug. 15, will go until the middle of September.  

Have you had a slice of the plum tomato pie? Tell us in the comments section below.

karen August 23, 2011 at 11:15 AM
Had my first Plum Tomato Pie this year... the beginning of a new tradition for us! It is just a rare treat. At first, I was a bit sad that they only come in small. However, it is so loaded with the great tomatoes, that one small pie fed 3 adults with 2 slices left over!! Definitely worth a try.
D August 24, 2011 at 02:43 AM
We have enjoyed these pizza's for the past few years, its become a tradition to bring our entire family to Salerno's for plum pies in August! It a treat you just can't pass up.. You must try them NOW before the plum tomato's are gone! DELICIOUS Good luck bringing them home, hands down you will eat 1/2 of the pie before you get it in your door, I suggest order one just for the drive home!
scott August 24, 2011 at 11:13 AM
Being a fan of Salernos, I have to add my two slices! My only issue with this place is that it forces me to hit up the gym a little harder when it is fresh tomato pie season. This is the time of year that my wife and I salivate for. Fresh tomato pie. Not that any other pies that this joint makes are not as great, but when you can only get something once a year, you can’t stop thinking about it - nor get enough of it! On top of the delicious food that this place puts out, the décor is unique and fun. Always a great date or family night out for us.

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